Aldo Conterno Barolo 2004

I bow to whimsy more than occasionally. Today that whimsy is a bottle of something I've been wanting to try for sometime, and a grey October Friday seemed the perfect time to do it. Autumn and Barolo go together like, well, like Autumn and red Burgundy - they are almost perfectly suited. That rusty, rustic crunch sits well with the falling leaves and slow-cooked stews of the season.

Stained-glass red - pale, rusty and bright.

Dusty nose with dried strawberries, raspberries and cranberries. It tugs at the nostrils and gets the mouth watering. There's hay and leather on the edges as well.

My goodness. Stunning palate that starts softly but quickly shrieks with juicy, crunchy, soured red berries - cranberries, raspberries and strawberries - all so juicy that you wince, squint and blink a bit. Then, beneath the juicy fruit, the dust, leather and tar-like tannins assert themselves, balancing that juiciness with a firm grip that goes from silk to suede to a prickly hint of sandpaper. Structure, charm, grip, fruit, earth, poise and balance, this pretty much has everything I wanted it to, and perhaps a bit more. Still incredibly youthful.

There is no hint whatsoever of the 14.5% alcohol.

Fantastic stuff.


Tasted at Shorehead 14 October 2011